Former BYUSA president lives life with purpose, determination despite hardships

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BYU student Paul Victor poses on BYU Campus. Victor is set to graduate this spring. (BYU Photo)

Former BYUSA President Former BYUSA President Paul Victor has found a way to take control of his life and is making it a fulfilling journey, even in the face of trials.

Growing up in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, Victor said he struggled with his self-esteem as a racial minority, but things changed when he found strength in adversity with his new life at BYU.

“I sat and read scriptures for two days and imagined who I wanted to become and then I had the courage to go out and create my own future,” Victor said.

Refusing to let his difference define him, he left for college determined to “fake it ’till you make it.” After being called and sent out to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Victor returned home with depression and a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and ADHD. He said he even stepped away from the Church for a time while facing these trials. However, he said a conference talk by Elder Bednar gave him the strength to reapply for a mission.

Victor went back out to serve in California, New Jersey and New York. Once he returned to BYU, Victor was elected Student Body President for the 2021-2022 school year. Shortly after, Victor broke a Guinness World Record for the longest time spinning a plate on his finger and interned for Senator Mike Lee. Victor found himself maximizing life’s potential.

Current BYUSA Executive Vice President Gabriel Abello is close friends with Victor and shared what inspired him about Victor. “His story is similar to mine, making him a relatable figure. Coming from a little bit but maximizing his opportunities to enjoy life and build relationships with others,” Abello said.

Victor’s unique background and experiences make him stand out amongst peers, said BYU student Blake Ball. He is most commonly known on campus by his Instagram handle @latterdayhindu, Ball said.

Victor’s father was one of the first 22 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in India and was a key part in building the membership there. His father was called to serve in Salt Lake City, Utah, knowing no English. He was assigned to serve with another non-English speaking missionary who referred to him as “Latter-Day Hindu” when correcting his biking habits one day. With the meaning of family and humor behind the name, Victor said he took it upon himself as part of his identity.

Paul Victor explains how he came up with his Instagram username @latterdayhindu. Victor is known by his username on campus. (Cadison Carter)

Graduating this semester with a degree in business management, Victor said he has big plans for his postgrad life, such as taking a one-way trip to Taiwan. There he said he will start his journey backpacking the world, visiting over 50 countries and summiting Mount Everest. He said he hopes to embrace the cultures and languages of the countries he will visit and will continue to live out his mantra of creating his own future.

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